Harvest Party/Week #28

  • Onions
  • Garlic      
  • Winter squash – Kabocha, Delicata, butternut, “Carnival” (acorn)
  • Broccoli or cauliflower
  • Lettuce
  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Tomatoes (next week green tomatoes)
  • Cherry tomatoes (let them ripen a bit and they will be oh so sweet)
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers (red and yellow sweet)
  • Hot peppers
  • Leeks
  • Celery
  • Zucchini
  • Kale
  • Fennel

 

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The harvest festival was a grand event and really brought home the meaning of “community”. It took so many people to pull off this event and everyone chipped in with their special talent to make the afternoon memorable. The harvest festival couldn’t have happened on a more perfect fall day, sunny warm and no rain. Music boomed out from the Helvetia Alp Horns and then the amazing marimba band “Muvurho”. Thank you to our friends Dave Schoch and Laura Byerly for bringing their amazing musical groups to play at our farm.

Pizza making went off without a hitch spear headed by Mary Kay and fired by Jay and served by Mark. This freed up Juvencio and I to mingle among the guests and even give a farm tour or two.

Thanks go out to Rachel, Ann and Catherine who showed up early and helped with the prep. Special thanks to my sister Dee and brother Dan who came on Saturday at the drop of a hat to help harvest squash and stayed late on Sunday to help clean-up. Dee also spear headed the t-shirt project that brings life to our farm even after the vegetable season is done. Thank you also to Ana and her family for their tireless work at the popular pupusa booth. Brian and Sharon generously brought their pepper roaster, helped set up the cider press and stayed late to clean up. Others helped in quieter ways that made the day go smoothly. Thanks to all the members of “La Finquita”, co-workers from VGC, friends from the Beaverton Farmers Market and all our other long time friends and family who came out to celebrate a great 2011 season.

We have one more week of the regular season. It is hard to believe 2011 is almost over. The farmers have clean up and over winter planting as well as walnut gathering (will they ever ripen and fall off the tree?). The weather looks like it will cooperate so that we can get the 50# of garlic planted and the Walla Walla onions in the ground. The green houses are half planted, and await removal of the summer squash and cucumbers that have really all but given up meaningful production.

There is still time to sign-up for the Thanksgiving share. Even if you are going out of town it is worth getting this bounty of vegetables most of which will keep for weeks in your fridge or on your kitchen counter. The cost is $30 and sign-up and pre-payment are in the barn.

It is also time to tell us if you plan to continue as a subscriber next season. Returning members are given priority so please do let us know by December 1st. A $100 non-refundable deposit is due by 12/1/11 to hold your membership at La Finquita. We plan to send out invitations to the people on our wait list by January 1.

Broccoli and Colored Bell Pepper Frittata

adapted from Epicurious

3-4 Tablespoons olive oil
2 colored (red, yellow or gold) sweet peppers, thinly sliced
2 yellow Spanish onions, chopped
3/4 pound broccoli di cicco or 1 head freshest broccoli, cut into florets, roughly chopped
at least 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
8-10 eggs
2-3 tablespoons chopped parsley or oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
dash cayenne pepper or red chili flakes
1 cup shredded sharp cheese, such as cheddar or provolone

Preheat broiler. Heat oil in large ovenproof skillet over high heat. Sauté peppers and onions until soft, about 5 minutes. Add broccoli pieces and garlic, stirring to coat with oil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together eggs and next 4 ingredients in large bowl. Arrange vegetables evenly in skillet, then pour in egg mixture. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until eggs are set around edges and almost set in center, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Transfer skillet to broiler and heat until eggs are completely set and cheese is melted and bubbling, about 2 minutes. Run spatula around skillet edges to loosen frittata. Cut into wedges and serve hot or at room temperature.

Spicy Pickled Broccoli adapted from The Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich

1 bunch broccoli (about 1 1/5 pounds), florets and peeled, sliced stems
3 stems chopped green garlic (include plenty of the green since it’s just for flavor!) or 2 Tablespoons ‘regular’ chopped garlic
1 T dill seeds
1 T coarsely grated (or chopped) ginger
1 T yellow mustard seeds
1 T vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups white wine vinegar
2 1/2 cups water
1 t pickling or other uniodized salt (often called sea or kosher too, I think)

In a large bowl, toss the broccoli with the garlic, ginger, dill, mustard, and oil. Pack the mixture into a 2 quart jar. Combine the vinegar and water, and dissolve the salt in the liquid. Pour the liquid over the broccoli. Cap the jar. Store the jar in the fridge at least one week before eating. It should keep in the fridge for at least several weeks. Makes 2 quarts

DELICATA SQUASH WITH ROSEMARY, SAGE, AND CIDER GLAZE
 

 

This is my favorite way to cook winter squash. You peel, and slice it, then cook it in a skillet with cider and
winter herbs. When most of the liquid boils away, the cider forms a tart-sweet glaze around the now-tender squash.

Delicata is a wonderfully firm-textured squash that’s not too sweet and almost like a potato. Other varieties like
acorn, turban, or kabocha will make good substitutes, but they may not hold their shape quite as well through the
braising.

2 medium delicata squash (about 2 pounds) or other firm
winter squash
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup very coarsely chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2 cups fresh unfiltered apple cider or juice
1 cup water
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Squash. If using delicata squash, peel it with a vegetable peeler, cut it lengthwise in half, and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Cut each piece lengthwise in half again, then crosswise into 1/2-inch -thick slices. Other types of squash should be peeled with a chef’s knife, seeded, cut into 1-inch wedges, then sliced 1/2-inch thick.

2. Herb Butter. Melt the butter in a large (12-inch) skillet over low heat. Add the sage and rosemary and cook,
stirring, until the butter just begins to turn golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not brown the herbs. Cooking the herbs in butter mellows their flavor and improves their texture.

3. Cooking the squash. Add the squash to the skillet, then the apple cider, water, vinegar, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat at an even boil until the cider has boiled down to a glaze and the squash is tender,
20 to 30 minutes. Taste and season with pepper, and additional salt if needed.

Makes 6 servings.

FENNEL AND CELERY SALAD (DAMA BIANCA)

2 medium fennel bulbs, stalks discarded
6 pale inner (white) celery stalks, leaves discarded and stalks thinly sliced
1 (1/2-pound) ball buffalo mozzarella (optional), roughly torn
1/2 tablespoon grated lemon zest (preferably from an unwaxed organic lemon)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons good-quality fruity extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Halve fennel lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise about 1/4 inch thick. Toss with celery and arrange on a platter with mozzarella.

Whisk together zest, juice, oil, sea salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and drizzle over salad.

Gourmet
April 2008

 

Risotto With Winter Squash and Collard Greens

By MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN

Collard greens and roasted winter squash are very compatible in this nutritious and rich-tasting risotto. The squash, an excellent source of vitamin A, is sweet and tender, while the collards are earthy, with a slightly chewy texture.

1 1/2 pounds winter squash, such as butternut, banana or hubbard, peeled, seeded and cut in 1/2 inch dice (about 2 cups diced squash)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 bunch collard greens, about 1 pound, stemmed and washed

2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock, or 1 quart chicken or vegetable broth and 1 quart water

1 small or 1/2 medium onion

2 large garlic cloves, green shoots removed, minced

1 1/2 cups arborio or carnaroli rice

1/2 cup dry white wine, such as pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc

Pinch of saffron (optional)

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (2 ounces)

3 to 4 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with foil. Toss the squash with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and spread on the baking sheet in an even layer. Place in the oven, and roast for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes until tender and caramelized. Remove from the heat.

2. While the squash is roasting, blanch the collard greens. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water. When the water comes to a boil, salt generously and add the collard greens. Blanch for four minutes and transfer to the ice water with a slotted spoon or skimmer. Drain and squeeze out extra water. Chop coarsely, or cut in ribbons.

3. Bring the stock to a simmer in a saucepan. Heat the remaining oil over medium heat in a large, heavy nonstick frying pan or a wide saucepan, and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until the onion begins to soften, about three minutes, and add the garlic and about 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until the onion is tender and the garlic fragrant, about one minute, and add the rice. Cook, stirring, until the grains of rice are separate.

4. Stir in the wine, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. The wine should bubble but not too quickly. When the wine has just about evaporated, add the collard greens, a third of the squash and the saffron. Stir in a ladleful or two of the simmering stock, enough to just cover the rice. The stock should bubble slowly. Cook, stirring often, until it is just about absorbed. Add another ladleful of the stock, and continue to cook in this fashion — not too fast and not too slowly, adding more stock when the rice is almost dry — until the rice is tender all the way through but still chewy, 20 to 25 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.

5. Add the remaining roasted squash and another 1/2 cup of stock to the rice. Stir in the Parmesan and parsley, and remove from the heat. Add freshly ground pepper, taste one last time and adjust salt. The mixture should be creamy (add more stock if it is not). Serve right away in wide soup bowls or on plates, spreading the risotto in a thin layer rather than a mound.

Yield: Serves six.

Advance preparation: You can roast the squash and blanch the collards up to three days ahead. You can get ahead on the risotto, cooking it halfway through step 4, about 10 to 15 minutes, then spreading the rice out in the pan or on a baking sheet. Reheat and proceed with the recipe shortly before serving.

Martha Rose Shulman can be reached at martha-rose-shulman.com.

Fennel and Red Pepper Salad

By MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN

This is one of my favorite salads. I make it for buffets all the time because it never gets soggy — the longer the vegetables marinate, the tastier the salad is.

For the salad:

1 pound trimmed fennel bulbs, quartered and cut into very thin crosswise slices

1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut in thin 2-inch slices

1 to 2 tablespoons minced parsley

1 tablespoon minced chives

1 ounce shaved Parmesan

For the dressing:

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or champagne vinegar

1 small garlic clove, very finely minced or puréed

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil. Toss with the salad and serve.

Yield: Serves six.

Advance preparation: This is a great keeper. The vegetables marinate in the dressing, and they don’t get soggy, just saturated and extremely tasty.

Nutritional information per serving: 137 calories; 11 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 4 milligrams cholesterol; 8 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fiber; 128 milligrams sodium (does not include salt added during cooking); 3 grams protein

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